Re: Socratic Dialogue about Marriage
posted at 3/29/2013 11:28 AM EDT
In response to diamondgirl's comment:
It's a way of stabilizing society by enforcing decentralized rule systems (family units) to give the illusion that compliance with the societal norm is an altruistic decision based on family love. It's a convenient way of getting people to stick together in lumps.
I think DG is on the right track here. At it's core, marriage is simply a way for us (humans) to organize.
We cluster in Nations, States, Cities, by ethinic, religious, tribal, etc... sects. This is how we've adapted so that our brains can organize what is and what isnt. (not much different than organizing things as "Animal", "Vegatable" or "Mineral".).
As you break down the organizational structre, you drop from the Universe, The world, The continent, the country, the state, the city, the neighborhood, the family, friends, the marriage, the individual. (Obviously, the smaller group is/can be a part of the larger group but that doesn't necessarily work in reverse)
We (humans) developed this sort of social structure fairly early on in our development - long before the nation/state concept or any legal systems existed.
From that we derive several forms of marriage but, IMO, I think there are a handful of things that make "marriage" different from other relationships. There is the idealized situation of "Romantic Love" in the marriage as well as a desire for mutual protection and care. In current society, that also incorporates the "legal" protections/benefits that larger society has injected into it.